2012 has been a year rammed with unmissable events so unmissable and so frequent that, in fact, it was pretty impossible to get your mitts on them all. Had you braved it and attempted to attend every piece of arty goodness the world over, you’d have surely been forever caught on motorways, trapped in departure lounges fuming about the long delays and endlessly taking in one event only to be thinking the real deal was just down the road!
Despite these obvious implausibilities, the fact remains that we never want to miss out on anything creatively stimulating. So, as we look back on a year that has showcased such a vast wealth of artistic celebration, we thought we’d take some time to reflect, dipping our snouts into those moments we wish we could have covered in a close-up, kiss your face off style. And after some heated debates over cheese and a stack load of Jacobs crackers, we’ve picked the five things we can’t believe we missed out on. It should be noted, we’re kicking ourselves for missing it all! So buckle up, it’ll be a hoot.
Nelly Ben Hayoun: The International Space Orchestra
Starting us off with a blast and fuelling all with a collective ‘wish we were involved’ kind of feeling was the world’s first ever International Space Orchestra who came together to perform Ground Control. Directed by Nelly Ben Hayoun, it featured music by Blur and Gorillaz super-dude Damon Albarn with Bobby Womack as well as a host of other huge names including two time Grammy-Award winning musical director, Evan Price. The orchestra itself was plucked from the furthest reaches of NASA’s research facilities, including space scientists from their Ames Research Centre, SETI (Search for Extra-terrestial Intelligence), the Singularity University and the International Space University.
The fusion of artistic performance and scientific background is an explosive mixture that knows no boundaries, acting as the perfect platform to “introduce the public to the emotional nuances of space science technologies, the people working with them and the challenges and opportunities of an exciting new era.”
The Space Orchestra is perfectly placed to remind us of this, whipping up excitement and rocket-propelling our souls out into further galaxies by “blending space science, planet-poking and bluegrass-playing spacecraft operators”. The resulting film is currently in post production, but keep your eyes pealed as they are promising updates very soon… We can’t wait!
ELCAF’s first East London Comics & Arts Festival
If, like us, you love comics the way dogs love chasing balls and rolling in mud, then you might have heard of ELCAF, the first East London Comics & Arts Festival. Offering everyone the chance to meet the creators of stunning comics as well as the opportunity to see their artistic process performed before their very eyes, ELCAF was an event I would’ve swam through treacle to get to… and I can’t even swim!
Not only was the festival a great way for all the lovers of comics to get together and mix it up, but there was also coffee, cake and a truck load of live music. I know what you’re thinking, it sounds and looks amazing! We’ll definitely be keeping our eyes open for this in 2013 and if you were lucky enough to attend it this year, I have one thing to say – you lucky, lucky (insert your own word).
OHWOW’s It Ain’t Fair 2012
Off we float to Miami now and the art fair put together by OHWOW gallery. It Ain’t Fair 2012 coincided with the Art Basel Miami Beach, celebrating the history and tradition of IFA’s renowned multimedia productions and progressive art in a variety of media. Never accused sitting back and resting on their ever solidifying reputation, IFA continued to prove itself as an exhibition of innovation that offered an exciting alternative to the other art fairs gracing Miami this December.
There is sometimes a danger with exhibitions that cross genres and mediums of feeling as though they don’t cover one specific area substantially enough, but again, IFA excels itself on every level setting the benchmark for 2013’s offerings while highlighting the who’s who in contemporary art. I’d love to have been able to jump on a plane to see this one, perhaps taking a paddle on the beach in my speedos during what would be a very brief art break.
SXSW 2012 is on our bucket list
South by Southwest (SXSW) 2012 took place in Austin, Texas and I literally don’t think I know a person alive who wouldn’t want to go. Exspansive and vast, a stimulus overload – all attempts at conveying a snippet of a description that can never truly embody what it must be like to experience. You only have to take a look at the roster of events to get a sense of its scale, events that include SXSW Music (alone, one of the largest music festivals in the U.S, with more than 2,000 performers playing in more than 90 venues), SXSW Film, SXSW Interactive, SXSWedu and SXSWeco. While this is truly impressive, it’s not the whole story of SXSW – that has to include the people who attend the festival, springing up for impromptu dance parties, flash mobs and much more besides. Get yourselves over there in 2013! It is impossible for it to disappoint.
Bompas & Parr’s chocolate mountain!
And for our final ‘wish we were on it’ moment, we ask the same question Bompas & Parr asked of everyone who turned up to face Mt. Rocky; can you conquer 30ft of chocolate? And they didn’t mean by chowing your way into it like a crazed chocolate monster of a child excited by Christmas treats, they meant it in a very literally way because they actually built the world’s first chocolate-based climbing wall and largest scratch-n-sniff structure! The installation was constructed at Alton Towers theme park taking the form of a Rocky biscuit bar, including a FOUR TONNE chocolate waterfall circulating 70,000 litres of chocolate an hour. This is mind blowing stuff and it upset us that we didn’t get the chance to dip it in our brews.
- My First: Colophon and Sophie Mayanne talk about the themes of their book, Twenty-Two
- Patrick Kyle uses analogue and digital techniques in these pared-back illustrations
- Audrey Weber’s eccentrically enlarged figurative illustrations
- Hanne Berkaak’s deeply moving and sensitive animation tackling self-harm
- The Smudge: Clay Hickson and Liana Jegers launch publication in reaction to US presidential result
- Set designer Gary Card on the importance of being a chameleon
- Grope Sans: a very rude typeface by Bompas & Parr
- Japanese graphic designer Ryu Mieno creates type-heavy works fizzing with energy
- The reductive and exacting work of graphic designer Laura Prim
- Why creative education for advertising is stuck in the dark ages
- Leipzig-based graphic designer Anja Kaiser takes us through her portfolio
- Nicolas Jaar releases Network, a book inspired by radio